Alta led the planning and design of a transformative rail-to-trail project through a blighted industrial corridor in the heart of downtown Kalispell.

The 1.7-mile, $7.5 million trail includes extensive landscaping, public plazas and many placeholders for additional recreational investment for the community to partner on, and it is the catalyst for hundreds of millions of dollars in redevelopment projects in the area. Redevelopment has already begun as a result of this trail, and includes new housing, business, retail, and restaurants that are along and oriented towards the trail.

Noteworthy design elements that were critical to community support and project success included honoring the history of the site, protecting and enhancing view corridors, and designing around hazardous materials. Alta initiated community engagement with an interactive “Deep Dive” week long public event which included rides on the rails to immerse stakeholders and the public in the opportunities and constraints of the corridor.

As a partner on this project, the Alta team completed the concept report, facilitated the public engagement, and prepared the construction documentation package. This project is part of a USDOT TIGER grant program, and celebrated its grand opening in the summer of 2022.